Friday, April 7, 2023

Cornwall Dragons Home Opener

Spring is upon us and is the ultimate sign here for us that baseball is upon us.  It's the time when we hear those magical words..  Play Ball!  

I love baseball, my dad coached little league many years ago.  But honestly, it’s the people I’ve met during the last several years that have really made it special.  

I love that this signifies The Boys of Spring.. 

Each year as basketball season winds down, the flowers start popping, and the grass starts to take on a green hue as opposed to brown, the signs of winter are starting to disappear we begin to yearn for outdoor sports once again.  

Cornwall Dragons home opener welcomed Chester on a gorgeous Thursday afternoon.  With temps hitting the 80s, it turned into a fabulous spring day for the first home game of the season for the Dragons.

Chester Academy Baseball v Cornwall Dragons

With the starting pitcher, MJ Salisbury, making his senior year debut.  And, what a debut it was, 5 innings pitched with 1 run and 2 strikeouts.  MJ and the Cornwall defense were putting in a solid teamwork effort.

Cornwall Dragons Pitcher MJ Salisbury

The battle of pitchers was now set.. as Chester's pitcher was solid.  Connecting bat to ball wasn't the issue for the Dragons, it was getting solid hits to get runners on base and to scoring positions.  

Chester Academy Pitcher

It was Chester that struck first bringing in a 0-1 score.  Cornwall wouldn't go down without a fight though.  As Cornwall's senior Tommie Shaw stepped up to the plate with one out, runners on 2nd & 3rd to hit a line drive to advance Dylan Hayes to even up the score 1-1.

The battle continued with fast innings as the defense game for both Cornwall & Chester was on point.  Cornwall's defense just continued to make play after play with double plays, scooping balls, and making long throws for outs,  with the outfield catching fly balls to back up their pitcher & offense.

Lukas Jachens scored to bring the Dragons the winning run & a score of 2 - 1.  

Senior Brian Fischer, who hasn't seen high school baseball since his freshman year, stepped on the mound to close out the game with 2 innings pitched with 2 strikeouts. To ensure the win over Chester!

Welcome back to baseball Brian.. 

Full gallery photos can be found here --> Photo Gallery

Player interviews can be found here --> Tommie Shaw & MJ Salisbury

** Lynn covers high school sports for both Lynn Fern Photography & 845SportsNation.  You can find player interviews along with photo galleries by following both Lynn Fern Photography & 845SportsNation via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Step Up To The Plate

Stepping up to the plate can take on different meanings for different people.  Batters need to be ready for a variety of pitches thrown.  

Besides football, baseball brings a bit of nostalgia meaning for me.  I played tee-ball & hit my first (& only ever home run), and then played baseball until girls no longer played on the coed team.  I lived in a small town that didn't have softball at my age.  And, my hero, my daddy coached baseball.

The familiarity I felt as I stepped onto the field today brought me back to my childhood.  Only thing was there were no flowers out in the outfield for me to be picking.  It's what all 5-year-olds do in the shortstop position, right!?!

As I stepped out onto the field today it was a whole different game.  A game that took a different direction.  It's a story that was already destined for a win, but then...

When you take that stance on home plate across from pitcher Connor Furst make sure you're ready...

As I took up my spot to snap a few photos across from Connor on the pitcher's mound, I only knew a portion of what was being pitched in my direction.  

Little did I know that it would be Connor that would be knocking it out of the ballpark.  A pitcher with an amazing story... Sit back, grab your tissues & be ready to have a dose of an amazing story of an incredible young man.

Let's back up a day or two... Throughout this crazy life event of the coronavirus, I knew I wanted to do something to help give back to our community.  I decided that I'd offer to photograph families from their front porch or outside on their property.  All donation-based, I take a couple of quick photos, they donate & I purchase gift certificates from local restaurants to help families that need meals.  A triple win (a grand slam in baseball terms) - families get a photo, donations help support local business & a family is fed.  

I posted about it on my Facebook page.  I immediately had interest, but one that came through from a friend that was telling me that her son wanted to donate money to help with the project.  We spoke on the phone, & I knew immediately I wanted to feature Connor here.  His story is a beacon of light that I can only hope will touch others the way it touched me.  

Please note: we kept within the social distancing rules.  All photos were used with my zoom lens, and we maintained the appropriate distance.  All of the questions/answers were done through messaging.  #doingourpart #allin

Shall we get to know Connor?  

Connor is a Junior at Cornwall Central High School that plays varsity baseball for the Cornwall Dragons as well as a summer team as a pitcher.  Connor wants to play baseball after high school for a college.  Right now his top school of choice is Springfield College.  

At what age did you start playing baseball?  I’ve been playing baseball forever it feels like. I starting playing tee-ball, and working my way up to where I am now.  

Life has taken this strange turn of events.  You’re finding yourself at home isolated from your friends, from school, and potentially for longer than we all anticipated.  This means that the spring sport that you play is most likely not going to have a season this year.  How do you feel about that?  Obviously, it’s frustrating for me to not be able to play baseball this spring, more because the weather this year allowed us to get on the field earlier than normal. Now the virus may even take the whole season from us. It’s no fun when the thing you have been working for is on the verge of just being taken away from you. There's nothing you can do about it but hope somehow that we can fit games in.  Almost my whole school year has been after school with the team in the weight room getting ready for this season.   In January we started to practice after basketball games every week putting in work to get better.  It sucks!

Through this unprecedented event, the coronavirus, how are you dealing on a daily basis with staying positive? To be honest I’m really ok with the learning part of school. I find it easier to log on every day, get your work done and boom it's done. Also, I love being able to sleep in, but obviously going to school every day is what’s best for everyone. I stay positive by always thinking it could be worse and just think about doing the best I can with the situation that is, unfortunately, happening right now.

Besides being a teenager going to school & baseball practice, do you work? I do have a job as a busboy/dishwasher at a local restaurant and enjoy working. My bosses are amazing and all the other staff is really just so nice.

Now that we’re being asked to stay home & only essential workers go to work, along with only delivery/curbside pick up.  You are continuing with doing deliveries & helping out.

You originally tried to not take a check, but your employer said no...   So you had this idea that you wanted to give back the money you make at your job for others to have a takeout meal.  Why’d you decide to do that?  And/Or how’d the idea come to your mind that you wanted to do that? Yes, I continued to work, and when all this happened I wanted to do it for free. I live with my parents, I am a teenager I don’t need the money. When my boss paid me I tried to refuse it, and told her to give it to someone else who needs it more than I do like someone who needs to pay rent, buy food for their families, etc. It was hard for me to take the money and to think it’s just gonna sit there when someone else needs it more then I do. I tried refusing my pay another time, and after that, I decided I wanted to actually do something with it. I talked to my mom about what I could do and how could I help other people who needed the money. I am so fortunate to live and be raised by my parents who have always taught me to always do the right thing & to be respectful, like holding the door for others, using my manners, etc.  Because of the way they raised me, they didn’t even have to tell me to refuse the check. I already knew that I wanted to refuse it. My mom & I talked for a couple nights about it, and the ways I could do something. She told me she could contact you and maybe you could help after reading your post on Facebook. There are other people out there who need that money to do those things for not just them, but their kids or maybe an elder living with them also. 

Wow, Connor what an incredibly selfless act!!  An amazing way to give back to the community.  I know your parents must be so very proud of you. 

Queue.. grab your tissues if you haven't already!

If there’s one thing about yourself you’d like others to know, what would it be? One thing I want everyone to know is to just do the right thing. Think of people who need something more then you do. Obviously not just give up everything you have, but simple acts of kindness go a long way with people. You never know what other people are going through because they don’t express it. It’s really a hard thing for me to talk about, but most people may or may not know I have depression. I have had suicidal thoughts and even had to go to a hospital for 3 days in September.  Everything has been getting better, and I’m on medicine to help along with seeing a therapist every week. Most people would be afraid to talk about it, but I’ve grown to not be scared about it. Mental Illness is a serious thing that can really affect a person and his/her family.  Just doing one or two nice things for others can help someone who is not in a good place & to just feel better.  It could even save people’s lives. It's these little things that make me want to do stuff like this, to make other people’s lives a little bit better the best I can.

Connor, I can't thank you enough for doing this!  It takes more than just a special person to want to give back.  Without blinking an eye, you are ready to give your hard-earned money in order to help others.  But, your selfless kindness is deeper than that.  Your positive light shines bright & you are the beacon of hope to many.  Your story means more than just's more than just a story.  Thank you for being the person you are, for putting yourself out there for others to know we all have a purpose & for doing this feature with me during such a trying time for all of us.

I didn't know Connor's story before today.  I certainly wasn't prepared for the pitch from the mound.  Even though he was pitching, he's the one that hit a grand slam right out of the ballpark!  The amount of tears that ran down my face while reading his text with his answers to my question could fill a bucket.  I hope this story brings some meaning to you, for it to touch your life the way it touched mine & to remember we're all going through battles of our own.  I am incredibly proud & blessed that Connor came into my life under the circumstance of both of us wanting to give back to our community.

You're a special young man Connor Furst!  Keep letting that light shine bright, you ARE a beacon of hope for many! 

With much love, peace & happiness 

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

WOW! I'm here, alive!

A couple of years ago I was rebranding my blog.  I wanted a motto that was me, and what I was about.  My logo is “enjoy the journey, create the destination”.

We all are on a journey in this life.  Sometimes we have tough decisions to make in this journey, sometimes it’s easy decisions, and sometimes circumstances happen that leave us with no choice.  In the end, the journey that we create lands us in our destination.  You are ultimately in charge of that destination.  

We’re human we make mistakes, we choose to not always do the right thing or sometimes we think we’re doing the right thing & we end up in a different place than we originally planned.

I have always believed even our mistakes can be a lesson, or simply a wake-up call to make necessary changes.  Life is all about learning, and making adjustments as we continue to live & nothing is ever easy.

Today my spotlight is a young man that has motivated me & inspired me to be a better me.  To take charge of the journey to create my destination.  Who would’ve thought a high school kid could do that right!?!  As adults we sometimes look past the younger generation & think we’ve lived well past their years, we’re older & wiser.  Yet, as I read through his story I realized I had my own lesson to learn here.  Life isn’t given, it can be taken at any moment, and that I need to take better care of myself.

Meet Connor Shapiro!  

I was casually scrolling through Instagram one afternoon & stumbled onto Connor’s story on his fitness page.  The picture was of him laying in a hospital bed with a black eye.  Curious as I am, I started reading his story.  Lucky to be alive at the age of 15.. All from a ski accident that 1. could’ve been avoided had he made a better decision & 2. thankfully he was wearing a helmet that allowed him to be alive today.  One misjudgment, one good judgment.  Each of which brought Connor’s journey to today’s destination.

Connor has created that destination to be one that is filled full of inspiration.  What could’ve been a road of depression, negative thoughts, and worse is quite the opposite.  His “I don’t care 15-year-old self” is now a “Be Grateful 17-year-old motivation”!

I had the opportunity a few months ago to take Connor’s Senior pictures.  I walked away saying to myself “this kid was a joy to spend a bit of time with”.  We talked like we had known each other for years, about life, where he was planning to go to college, etc.  He could carry a conversation while looking me in the eyes and knew how to start the next dialogue without an ounce of awkwardness.  I left that afternoon knowing there was something behind this kid that drove him to who he is.  Only a matter of time & that story would be revealed to me.  

Now I am reading his story (you can read here) & realizing the soft kindness that was within & just where it grew from.  I reached out to Connor to ask if he’d sit down with me to talk about who he is today!  

Connor Shapiro is a Senior at Cornwall Central High School who is looking at going into Health Sciences with a minor in either fitness or nutrition.  Currently, he’s looking at Monmouth University or Syracuse, good choices no matter where he ends up.  Connor decided after all of his injuries and being in & out of doctor's offices, that it all became very interesting to him and has decided to pursue something that will help others.  

You started a fitness journey due to a life-changing experience, which you posted on Instagram as a “near-death experience”.  You took that experience and turned it into a positive, inspiration for others.  That’s incredible for a young 15 year old to do, how’d you do that?  I wasn’t emotional or crying from being in pain, but I called my best friend Joey Holbrook.  When I heard how emotional he was, it affected me & I just started crying & said: “I’m here WOW”.  Looking at the positive & knowing I am still here, all because I was wearing a helmet.  My attitude has totally changed, it’s good that this happened because I once was a kid that just didn’t care, but it’s now a personal thing for me and I live by “Be Grateful”.   

You were a baseball player, and you love the sport.  Because of your life-changing injuries you are no longer able to play baseball.  Does that still affect you?  If I am honest, yes it does.  Watching my buddy Anthony & Mike play takes me back.  Playing catch with Anthony, it affects me.  But, I found something I love just as much and it’s made it ok.  

You started your fitness journey, the “something” that you love, from this experience.  Shapiro Fitness.  Why’d you start it, tell me more about it & the goals you have!?!  I started it to inspire others.  You have to have a good work ethic, it’s what gets you where you are in life.  I don't sit on my phone, or sit & play video games, I want to do things that are productive, to make me a better person.  When I workout, I listen to music, I don't look at social media, etc.  It's a work ethic thing for me.  And, I just want to keep inspiring people to be active.  Nothing comes easy, and if people see how far I’ve come, then they can too.  

Lynn Fern Photography

Who is your biggest inspiration, and why?  :::cue the biggest smile ever:::  My Pop!  He’s a strong individual, overcame cancer, still works out and taught me to work for what I want.  I just admire him so much.   Does he live nearby?  No, they live in Florida, but I talk to him every day.  He's just amazing.  (Excuse me a moment while I grab a tissue).  The joy on Connor’s face while talking about his Pop is forever ingrained in my mind. Pure JOY!

If there’s one thing you’d like people to know about you, what would that be?  I care more about my family (my mom, two sisters, my lil brother & Nan & Pop) than I do about myself.  

If you could meet one person in history, who would it be & why?  :::Connor took a bit to answer this, you could see the wheels spinning:::  Curtis Granderson! His work ethic.  I love his energy, it’s a good positive energy! He just always gives his best effort every single game, never jogs, always runs.  He’s number 14 & I love that number.  I always end every workout with my last set of reps with reps of 14.  Connor is going to kill me, but he even puts on 14 swipes of deodorant (7 swipes for each arm)... 

Connor is more than a high school boy that goes to the gym & works in a gym.  Connor was a caddy with one of his buddies.  He’d get up at 4:30 am, pick up Joey Holbrook, drive to Sleepy Hollow to caddy for the day.  One day still used to getting up at 4:30 am, but not going to caddy, Connor decided to go ahead & get his workout in for the day.  He decided that morning to send Gym Shark a message on Instagram about his story, his journey, and his progress.  Connor started his fitness page Shapiro Fitness on Instagram from the advice of Gym Shark.  Not expecting to hear back, they told him he needed to be able to inspire others and post positive content.  That Connor has successfully done.  

Social Media provides many opportunities to work as ambassadors to promote content for different brands.  Coming from a social media background, I fully grasp what goes into doing this.  Connor has been contacted by a few brands that have sent him contracts to be a brand ambassador.  He's declined to do it, because he wants to focus more on what he has going on, keeping things real & positive.  He realizes what comes with that & at 17 it's not something he's ready to do.  

But, there’s more to Connor then wanting to impress Gym Shark with his fitness progress, inspiration & positive driven content.  Connor does work at Anytime Fitness in the evenings a couple of nights a week, but he also volunteers at the local Cornwall Volunteer Ambulance Corp, he also loves kids and therefore volunteers his time to ref basketball through the Cornwall Rec League.  He refs 6-8th grade boys, 3rd-5th grade boys, and 4th-6th grade girls.  

Connor has taken this change of life attitude and turned it into such a positive.  He told me before the accident, you didn’t know me, I had a bad I don’t care attitude, and it’s good this happened.  He now believes & lives by example that you have to work hard for what you want.  

I have always believed that things happen for reason.  I do believe that Connor’s story was placed in front of me that Thursday afternoon as I was recovering from the flu.  As I was feeling sorry for my flu headache, reading his story of how he walked out of the EMS with broken bones that no one should be walking with, well my feel sorry for me nonsense didn't feel so important anymore.  

Thank you, Connor, for taking the time to sit with me to do this interview.  You’re an inspiration & I hope this motivates one person to take a step to turn a negative into a positive.  I am GRATEFUL for having the opportunity to know you!  All the best to you.

If you’d like to follow Connor’s fitness journey, and to be inspired by his progress, follow him on Instagram at Shapiro Fitness.  

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Remax Realtor Spotlight - Nicole Gold

Meet Nicole Gold of Remax Realty here in the Hudson Valley, New York.  Nicole's office is located in New Windsor, NY off of Temple Hill Road.  

Lynn Fern Real Estate Photographer

With an always willing to help personality, Nicole has the heart of GOLD, and will most certainly always do what she can to go above & beyond to ensure you are well taken care of! If you want to meet this amazing individual, are looking for your next home to buy or to sell your current home, make sure to follow Nicole on her Facebook page here where she often goes live at her Open Houses.  

I had the opportunity recently to sit down with Nicole & learn more about her real estate journey.

Nicole Gold has been in real estate right at a year now.  She received her license in October 2018 and officially started with Remax in February 2019.  Happy ONE year anniversary Nicole! 

Like most from the Hudson Valley, Nicole loves the incredible scenery the Hudson Valley offers.  
How Long have you worked in real estate? In real estate now for one full year.  
What made you decide to go into real estate? Nicole gives her brother in law, Colin, much of the credit for her desire to go into a market that's saturated with agents.  "He's a big supporter & was pivotal in my decision to do this".  Colin and Nicole discussed the opportunities for her to go into real estate as a side job, & with his support, Nicole took the leap.  With a license, you can do a little more, like be at open houses. 
Over the years real estate has evolved in the technology space.  What do you see as the role of technology in real estate? The roles of technology provide realtors so many different options to stay on top of the market.  We have weekly meetings just about technology & what's available to us.  There's many different apps for both the realtor and the client, everything is digital, but still takes into account the need for person to person interaction. It also allows me to be more creative.  I am able to find additional information regarding potential clients, buyer or sellers.  It gives me the ability to find many different avenues to personalize the experience for each individual.    
What do you love most about being a realtor? The people! Meeting new people. The people at Remax, my coworkers, and the owner!
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? I enjoy going to local events in the community & surrounding areas that include festivals, local restaurants, and supporting the local sports teams.  Volunteering my time to help the community, the 4th of July committee, Fall Festival, etc.  
Do you have any pets?  :::Giggles::: 3 cats, 1 dog & 1 chinchilla, all of which are up for grabs.. just kidding! 
If you could meet one person in history who would it be & why? Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God.  His positive attitude and his focus that everything happens for a reason.  "It was meant for me to start real estate when I did, that exact moment".  
Thank you for the interview & keeping things real Nicole! 

Cornwall New York Football

What others are saying about Nicole, you can read more HERE  -

Nicole helped us find a property after almost 2 years of unsuccessful search. She was proactive and creative. She never gave up and ultimately we found the best property. I highly recommend her!!!  


Nicole is a wonderful realtor who works above and beyond to help you in your home purchase. She is truly on your side and has your back! Nicole is gold!


Do you want to work with Nicole on your next real estate transaction? Click here to get in touch! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Letter to the 2019 Cornwall Dragon Football Team

This is a special time for this group of boys.  Two time, back to back State Football Champions.

The Cornwall Dragon Football Team.

I got to spend a little quality time with the 2020 Seniors on the team.  

Senior Boys

I know some probably think, eh that's not a big deal.  But, you see it me anyhow.  They're a great group of boys & one day we're going to look back & want to remember that feeling.  

It all goes so fast & when you do things that make history, not just in your town, but in the section in which you play... well it's pretty impressive & should be documented.  I know when these boys are older, and in different places in their lives, they are going to look back & remember their brothers, those that they played a game they loved together.  

I started this journey last year toward the end of the season.  I made it to a few games, snagged some photos & then found myself on the sidelines of the State Championship game last year (thanks to a friend for getting me on the field), I wrote about that here... Road to Championship.  

I knew I wanted to make a couple of games this year (boy did I not realize that these kids were going to suck me right in... hook, line & sinker).  I showed up to the season opener against Monroe-Woodbury.  A bigger district and our new head coach's previous school district.  I hadn't watched the new coach, met him or even seen him.  But, after watching Coach Holzapple the year prior, the new head coach was going to need to win me over (ok really I am not that important, but we all love our Holz)... 

It was drizzling & I stood on the other side of the fence dying to get inside to take pictures.  At halftime, I asked Jason Semo if he thought it'd be ok to jump in & grab some photos in the 2nd half.  He said go for it!  Game on boys!  I was in my glory!

As I stood on the sidelines, a bad call came down, and Coach Baldock rushed the field & needed to be pulled back by his staff, literally!  Have you seen the Rams "get back" coach?  Yup, I probably laughed harder than I should have, but that was the moment he won me over.  His passion, his drive, that FIRE... I get it.  I love it!  

I called West Texas home my entire childhood and beyond.  Football was life.  Friday Night Lights was a given.  I can still see the stadiums, smell the air and feel the pounding excitement as the sun went down & the lights went up.

There's really nothing like it.  

I walked in to spend a bit of time with the Seniors on a Sunday evening.  When I walked upstairs where they were gathered playing video games, they had no idea why they had been called to be together that afternoon, I was greeted with a very happy yet confused "Mrs. Fern, HIIIIIII".  Big smiles filled the room & when I told them I was there to kick their assess in video games the room erupted.  I wasn't really there to play video games but to do a little photoshoot & video snippets. 

Horrible quality as I didn't have my flash, but those faces!

I don't think it was until then that I truly realized what I was doing on the sidelines meant this much to the boys.  I felt it through my entire heart the love, appreciation & respect they have for me.  Don't get me wrong, week after week, they acknowledged me.  But, the level I felt it.. the bar was raised significantly.

The journey I walked alongside you through this season will forever be etched in my cherished memories.  

Louie Francese Amin Woods

You all have worked hard, beyond what any single person could understand besides you & the coaches.  

Cornwall, NY Football team

You have all had to learn to overcome some pretty big obstacles.  Some that created crazy emotions, some fear, some anger, some the public know about, some only you & your coaches know about.  And, you rose above and did it all with grace & dignity.  You have a story that goes beyond the football field.

Football Captains

I recall the Pine Bush game.  I had someone tell me that this was going to be one of your toughest games right before I got to the game.  For a split second, my heart raced & my stomach knotted up.  

I have a keen sense, some call it a sixth sense.  It's a weird feeling I get.  It's not a nervous feeling, it's a feeling of doom.  I can feel it in my mind, heart, and soul.  I felt it but in a completely different way this night.  And, then your boy Aidan.. it was strange.  I stood at the end zone and couldn't even take a picture, I was frozen in place.  All I saw was him take a left-handed throw & I knew that feeling I had, where it was coming from.

Amin Woods Aidan Semo

As soon as he left the field, and time ticked away on the clock, the feeling subsided.  I was sad, couldn't leave my spot & couldn't even think of walking down to where he was sitting.  But, that feeling was gone.

Louie Francese first time at quarterback

You prevailed, walked away as winners.. with a new quarterback on the field.  You now not only lost the best quarterback in the state, but you also just lost one of the best & a top receiver.

Spectrum News Interview Louie Francese

I was asked during the week by an individual if I'd continue to go to the games to take pictures.  My question back "why wouldn't I"?  Doubt overcame some, said our season was over.  My response.. HARDLY!  Have you seen these boys?  Have you watched them play?

Jay Channell tackle Kolby Anderson

Cornwall Derek Marrero

There's no I in TEAM.  They are a team, a band of brothers, and while it may have rocked some, their ROCK just became more solid.  It is at times when you are faced with the biggest adversity that you make a choice. You either rise up and take the challenge head-on or you lay down & become defeated before the chapter even closes.  

Cornwall beats Queensbury

Each game, I would put on my warm clothing, layered up like no one's business.  Double toe warmers, hand warmers in the gloves, leggings under the ski pants, THREE layers of shirts and my big coat.  I looked like the female version of the Pillsbury doughboy!  But, proudly!  I wore a pink wristband and a particular lined shirt under a sweatshirt every single game.  It was the warmest shirt ever.  Traditions are not to be broken when you are heading to the State Championship game, even when it's being played inside.  Let's just say, I was dying in the Dome.  I contemplated going to the bathroom at halftime & removing it & just wearing the light sweatshirt I had on, but that wasn't even an option!  Just ask Joey Parker...

It takes so much more than just jumping on the bus for the long trip to Syracuse to play at the Carrier Dome.  You are up early to get the high school.. 

load your equipment

take team photos...

....board the bus and 

...wait to have your breakfast brought to you by the football moms

And, then drive 2 plus hours to warm up in the field house at SUNY Cortlandt, grab your lunch from the team moms, and board the bus for your final destination. 

How were you all feeling?  Nervous, tired, overwhelmed, happy, sad that this would be the last time you put on your Cornwall Dragons jersey some for a season, some forever...

I followed along your journey that day.  I took it all in.  It all happens so fast & I wanted to make sure you remembered your trip.

My oldest daughter, Katie, was traveling with me.  Let me preface this.. I would never check out any of the upcoming postseason opponents, even as hard as it was to just not.  Although heading into the week, Paul Marrero, gave an update on your opponent, Carthage.  I kicked myself for reading it.  And, then I opened up Maxpreps and went to watch videos of them.  I stopped myself...traditions are not made to be broken.  As we were leaving the Cortlandt field house, Katie looks at me & says she's nervous.  WHAT!?! Why?  She said you know this team we're playing is really good.  Umm yes & so are we!  She said "no mom, like they are really good", me "how do you know that? Who told you that?".  She says "I watched their films", WHAT THE EVER LOVING... I almost kicked her out of my car, but that would be a long, cold walk back home or to the Dome.  She then proceeded to tell me about... SHHHHHHHHHHHH, lalala, shush it child!  I have traditions.  But, I am obviously teaching her right & looks like this girl & I have recreated that bond that my dad & I have shared over football.  She accompanied me no matter how cold, windy or rainy it was to your games and loved cheering you on!

I didn't see you again until I met you on the field of the Carrier Dome.  As Alfieri said, the greatest place in NY to play the game.  The final destination...

What would the outcome be?  Could you feel it in your heart as it pumped? 

For the veterans from the year prior, did it feel the same?  Or did this year bring new meaning?

I watched as you stood in the tunnel waiting to take the field.  My heart pounded for you.  I wanted this so much for you.

There was unchartered territory that you were embarking on, you were on the other end of the scoreboard than you've been all year.  

Right before halftime, I remember standing on the sidelines & saying to myself "come on boys we need a big play here, a game-changer", and just like that your #99 Sophomore Orlando Carthens interception.  

Even though you walked into the locker room at halftime still on that unfamiliar ground, that sense I felt was never doom.  I never felt defeat.  I BELIEVED & as did all of your fans.. They continued to cheer and never lost their passion.  

You walked out onto that field in the 3rd quarter with fire in your eyes, your heart set on walking away as back to back champions.  I could feel it.  

That second half was epic.  Both teams battled, you scored first, they answered but with a missed extra point.  And, then you did what you've done all year long.  Faced with a big challenge, you met it head-on and conquered.

A crucial blocked 52-yard field goal by the blocked kick king, Noah Chaudhry with Bryce Brown making an incredible grab & RUNNNNNN. 

As Louie took his final knee, my heart pounded.  I could feel every ounce of emotion coming from him.  I could see him sink as he cradled the football and Alfieri reaching over to touch his shoulder. 

A 12-0 season, your return to the Dome brought you a crown!

The moment you finished high fiving the other team, Alfieri ran over for a picture opportunity, the classic relationship we had, I'll love & cherish that forever!  

I stuck my hand out for a high five & instead was engulfed in a hug, and then from Louie and others continued to follow behind.  

I teared up & quickly I was overcome with a lot of emotions.  We have a bond!  I'm going to miss hearing "Mrs. Fern will you take a picture", or "Hi Mrs. Fern" from each of your voices.  

To be apart of what you have accomplished will resonate in me for a lifetime.  You've taught me some valuable lessons you probably didn't even know.  

You taught me to follow my dreams.  You taught me to never give up.  You taught me to believe in myself.  You taught me that despite being down when you want it bad enough to fight for it, and to dig deep it is doable.   You also taught me that kindness matters, and you never know whose life you might touch.  For you to know... YOU all touched my life this season!  You embody what every football player should, a winning class act! 

Cornwall Football

Thank you to Jason Semo for asking me after the Monroe game if taking pictures on the sidelines is something I'd like to do.  Thank you, Mr. Kroemer, for saying yes and guiding me through the postseason protocol for being on the field.  A BIG thank you goes out to the coaches for allowing me to be on the sidelines to capture the journey.  Thank you to the parents for the kind words throughout the season, and teaching them to be kind, respectful and appreciative. 


Thank you to the Cornwall Dragon Football team for bringing me on this incredible journey with you.  You, unbeknownst to you, brought me back to my roots.   The roots that my father instilled in me around the age of 2, those football roots run deep!  I hope I provided time to stand still for you.  I hope that in years to come you look back at the memories and know how special this time was.  

With much love to you all, I will forever & always love you all!

~ Mrs. Fern

Cornwall Dragons Home Opener

Spring is upon us and is the ultimate sign here for us that baseball is upon us.  It's the time when we hear those magical words..   Pla...